Catholic Culture Update May 14

Catholic Culture Update for the week beginning May 14, 2017

Quote to carry in your heart this week

“Let your love be upon us, O Lord.” Psalm 33

May 14th is the 5th Sunday of Easter. “We are all familiar with that feeling of being at home. Sometimes this takes the form of feeling comfortable with someone, as if to say “I feel really at home being with you.” At other times, it refers to the sense of comfort that we associate with the home in which we grew up. Consider for a moment how it would feel to be at home in a place in which we felt comfortable all the time. During certain periods in our life, we may feel as though we do not know the best course of action to undertake. Christ invites us to believe and to reflect this belief in the work that we do. It is this work that allows the message of the gospel to be lived out in many different ways in today’s world. If we ourselves believe, with God’s help our work becomes an opportunity to illustrate to those around us the life that satisfies. In the gospel today, Christ reminds us that an offer has been made to us that can be accepted at any time. This offer is to believe so much in God and the place that has been prepared for us, that we gently allow ourselves to be freed of our troubles by sharing them with Jesus. In so doing, we are indeed at home with our Creator.” John O’Brien, Sunday Missal 2016-2017, Living with Christ, page 363.

May 14th is Mother’s Day. “In the Middle Ages, many people had to travel far from home to earn a living. They became servants where work was available or they learned a trade from someone who was willing to teach them. These people were given a special holiday every year. It came on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, on Laetare (“Rejoice”) Sunday. In the liturgy on this day, the city of Jerusalem is called our mother. We rejoice because when Easter arrives, we will be reunited with mother Jerusalem. And so, Laetare Sunday came to be called Mothering Sunday. On this day people would go home to see their mothers. Many family reunions were held. People were even excused from the Lenten fast on that day. The Mother’s Day we have in May was started in the early twentieth century by an American woman named Anna Jarvis. After her mother died, she suggested that a memorial service be held in church to honour all mothers. The first such service was held in a Philadelphia church in 1908. Those who attended were asked to wear white carnations in memory of their mothers. People were so taken with the observance of such a day that in 1914 Congress, in the States, proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Other countries adopted the idea. In England, the old custom of Mothering Sunday in Lent was restored. Mother’s Day is observed in many other countries, but not always on the same day. A mother provides life and nourishment. On this day we remember all who are examples of a mother’s love. This holiday has been adopted by Canada.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 68.

Image result for St. Isidore.May 15th is a memorial of St. Isidore. “Today we honour St. Isidore the Farmer (c. 1080-1130), not St. Isidore of Seville, the Doctor of the Church whose memorial falls on April 4. Isidore the Farmer was born in Madrid to poor parents who sent him to work for a landowner. He was very devout and married a like-minded woman. Maria, who also became a saint. Isidore attended daily Mass and was often late arriving at the fields, but he managed to get his work done nonetheless. He shared the little he had with the poor. He is the patron saint of farmers; it is fitting to remember him in the Northern Hemisphere’s agricultural season.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 75. St. Isidore, encourage those who grow crops to have patience. Be aware of the work of farmers as you eat today.

Image result for St. Bernardine of SienaMay 20th is a memorial of St. Bernardine of Siena, Priest. “St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) was an Italian Franciscan, a priest, and preacher. He was orphaned young and raised by a pious aunt. While still a student, he helped care for the sick during an outbreak of the bubonic plague, contracted the disease and almost died. Bernardine joined a strict branch of the Franciscans, called the Observants, around 1402, Known as the “apostle of Italy,” he preached devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, popularizing the use of the monogram, I.H.S and encouraging his hearers to burn unnecessary luxuries in “bonfires of vanities.” Companion to the Calendar – A Guide to the Saints, Seasons, and Holidays of the Year, page 75. St. Bernardine, inspire us to use the Holy Name of Jesus in prayer and in no negative way. Count how many times you hear the name of Jesus this day.

Walking Forward Together with Hope ~ a quote for the week

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Samuel Smile

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 2012 Calls to Action

“In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to action.


  1. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to provide sufficient and stable funding to implement and evaluate community sanctions that will provide realistic alternatives to imprisonment for Aboriginal offenders and respond to the underlying causes of offending.

New Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document for Religious Education

Celebrating ~ Hope Expectations for Primary Classes

By the end of grade 3, it is our hope that students will be individuals who:

  • Cherish the sacramental life of the Church as the gift of God’s presence in our lives to nourish, restore, guide and form us as children of God;
  • Participate freely in the Sacrament of Eucharist as the central sacrament of the Catholic faith and the Sacrament of Reconciliation to strengthen and renew their relationship with Jesus;
  • Find hope and faith in the story of salvation that unfolds through the celebrations of the five seasons of the Church’s liturgical year.

Grade Three CL 3.1: Describe the origin of the Liturgical seasons of Advent and Christmas by connecting the images related to each season to their roots in Scripture (i.e. Advent – Jesse Tree, Christmas – Nativity Sets with the biblical narrative of Isaiah 11:1 and Luke 1-2). [CCC nos. 1159-1162; 1168-1171; 1204-1209] In Grade three the liturgical seasons of Advent and Christmas are highlighted. The Advent symbol of the Jesse Tree is connected to the opening section of Matthew’s first chapter and the Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah (1:1-17). From Abraham a connection to Jesus is highlighted. So by making symbols of the characters in Jesus’ family tree we can teach students that Jesus is the fulfilment made to Abraham.

In the prophecy of Isaiah it foretells that “a shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” It continues to describe one upon whom the spirit of the Lord shall rest. Read Isaiah 11:1-9 to your students. Ask them if they have ever heard the reading before. It is read during the Advent season to foretell the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. Luke’s gospel tells the Infancy narrative of John the Baptist and Jesus. Set up the Nativity set and ask the students why we use it to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Read Luke chapters 1 and 2. Students are more likely to make connections now than when they are distracted by the excitement that Christmas is coming.

Twenty-first Century Learning

  • > Oh My Soul Dance by Casting Crowns – an inspirational video 4.29 min
  • > Official Video of Chris Tomlin’s Release of Home – Christian music video – His message is one of hope and life and is rejoicing in the knowledge that despite the mess that we human have made of life on Earth, one day God will make things new.   3.58 min
  • – Catechist Caroline Cerveny SSJ-TOSF shares some digital tools to tell stories related to the month of May.
  • > Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Become a member of D&P this year for free. It is their 50th anniversary as Canada’s Catholic Justice voice. Add your voice to theirs.
  • > New Jesuit website on Truth and Reconciliation
  • > World Community for Christian Meditation – Canada part of the site > This is a site for Christian Meditation for teachers and students alike.
  • > best kept secret for religious education teachers of every grade

115 Saintly FUN Facts ~ Smiles and Surprises for Kids of All Ages by Bernadette McCarver Snyder

“Lawrence the Deacon ~ This saint played a joke on a Roman ruler! But the Roman was NOT amused. Lawrence was ordained by Pope Sixtus to be one of seven deacons in Rome in the third century. One of his jobs was to be sort of an accountant – to keep track of the “treasures” people donated to the Church AND to use the money to pay for the upkeep of the church buildings and ministers AND to help the poor. This was a big job, since the Church of Rome took care of more than fifteen hundred poor people in the city and also sent money to help the poor in other cities. One day the Emperor Valerian began a great persecution of the Church and issued orders for all the priests and bishops to be killed, including the pope! As the pope was being led away to be executed, he told Lawrence to give ALL the riches of the Church to the poor. So Lawrence began to sell everything and give away the money. BUT the prefect (chief magistrate) of Rome heard about this and was furious because he had expected to TAKE the treasures for the empire. He sent for Lawrence and ordered him to bring all the Church’s treasures to HIM. Lawrence agreed but said it would take three days to assemble the treasures. Three days later, Lawrence appeared before the prefect. Instead of bringing gold and silver, he had brought the crippled, the blind, the poor, and the orphans of the city. Lawrence said THESE were the real “treasures” of the Church. The prefect was even more furious and had his soldiers torture and kill Lawrence. But Lawrence had expected the ruler to react this way and gladly gave his life for God. AND when people heard what Lawrence had done, this gave them courage to ALSO stand up to the Romans. Many new converts asked to be baptized, and the Church grew and Catholicism spread across the country. Did you ever think of the poor as a “treasure”? Would you like to work to help the poor some day? Well, why not TODAY? Could you get your family to have a garage sale and give all the money to help the poor? Could you get your friends to gather together any unused clothing or toys and donate them to an organization that helps the poor? Could you get your grandma to make cookies so you could sell them door to door and give your “profit” to the poor? What COULD you do to get some “treasure” to help the poor in YOUR city or your neighbourhood?” pages 94-95

What’s Your Catholic IQ? Mary, Our Lady of Fatima by David O’Brien

  1. “My _______________________ proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my saviour” (Luke 1:46-47). A. mouth B. soul C. church D. school
  2. Catholics believe Mary’s role was only to raise Jesus when he was a child. T or F
  3. Before he died on the cross, Jesus said to Mary: “Woman, behold your son” and then to the disciple John: “Behold, your ________________________” (John 19:26-27). A. sister B. friend       C. aunt D. mother
  4. Miraculous appearances of ______________________ made the towns of Fatima, Lourdes, Knock, and La Salette famous.   A. Mary B. Jesus    C. the Pope          D. Adam and Eve
  5. The people who Mary has appeared to have often been ________________________.   A. kings B. prime ministers   C. children D. bishops

What’s Your Catholic IQ? Mary, Our Lady of Fatima by David O’Brien

  1. Mary appeared monthly for six months to three shepherd children in Fatima in 1917. T or F
  2. The town of Fatima is in ______________________.   A. China   B. Saudi Arabia   C. Portugal D. New York City
  3. Mary’s main message to the children at Fatima was to not eat meat during Lent and to always do their homework. T or F
  4. Mary told the children to pray for this country. A. Iran B. North Korea C. Canada D. Russia
  5. Fatima is also famous for the miracle of the dancing ______________________. A children B. sun C. animals   D. bishops

Taking Jesus to the Movies …a blog by Pat Carter csj

Fences – This movie won several awards this past year. It stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. It is based on a play written by August Wilson. The story is about a family in Pittsburg in the 1950s. The acting is exceptional. It is about family dynamics. It is about class. It is about race. It is about working hard to support your family. It is about coming to terms with your own human weakness. It is the kind of movie that stays with you for days after you see it and you keep making connections. I give this movie ♥♥♥♥♥/5 hearts.

A NEW YEAR addition to CCU – A Blog for Eclectic Readers – by Pat Carter csj

A Man Called Ove – written by Fredrik Backman. I laughed, I cried and I smiled a lot while I read this book. The main character is a mix between Sheldon Cooper and a handy-man. The most difficult thing about this book is how to pronounce the man’s name. I would totally recommend this book to just about anyone. It is one of the most satisfying reads I have experienced in a while.  I give this book ☺☺☺☺☺/5 happy faces

Trivia for Those Who Read to the end…Just like the credits at the movies.

“In the UK, each child is given, on average, 8 Easter eggs each year.” Huh!!

One comment

  1. ?As always, thank you for all of your special emails.

    Happy Victoria Day!

    Peace, Joy, Hope, Charity, Appreciation and Humility, Steve De Quintal Teacher, St. Mary Catholic Academy, 66 Dufferin Park Ave. Toronto, Ontario M6H-1J6. 416-393-5528 ext. 84293 “that they may have life and have it the full.”

    “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know when it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response*** ________________________________

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